Falcons, Lions, Texans Interested In Pat Fitzgerald?

Buzz surrounding Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald may be more relevant this year. Two years after he declined NFL interest, the Big Ten HC is interested in making a jump, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

He appears to have a few suitors. The Falcons and Lions are interested in Fitzgerald, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. And despite a previous report indicating the Texans are not looking to hire a college coach, La Canfora adds that Houston is interested as well.

The Falcons and Lions are moving forward with their respective searches. Both teams are interviewing Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy and Titans OC Arthur Smith. Each team interviewed its interim coach — Raheem Morris and Darrell Bevell, respectively — and Michigan native Robert Saleh has been a frontrunner for this post for a bit now. But Fitzgerald has displayed impressive credentials at Northwestern.

The Wildcats have won 10 games three times since Fitzgerald, a Northwestern player on one of those teams (1995), took over in 2006. In the program’s previous 100-plus years, it only reached the 10-win plateau twice. Northwestern went 7-2 this year. Fitzgerald, 46, is not expected to take every interview possible, JLC adds, but he is squarely back on the NFL radar after not being connected to any pro jobs last year. He would be the third college coach to jump in the past three years, following Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule. Northwestern OC Mike Bajakian, the Buccaneers’ QBs coach from 2015-18, has also received interest as an NFL assistant, La Canfora notes.

It now appears Nick Caserio will be offering key input into Houston’s HC hire, so it would be interesting if the 20-year NFL exec and Division III alum would go with a longtime college coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Falcons, Lions, Texans Interested In Pat Fitzgerald?

  1. Boston2AZ

    “The Wildcats have won 10 games three times since Fitzgerald, a Northwestern player on one of those teams (1995), took over in 2006. ” Think you could clarify this?

    • wagner13

      Fitzgerald took over as head coach in 2006. He has won at least ten games in three separate seasons since then. This is significant because the program had only accomplished this twice before his coaching tenure began.

      Fitzgerald also used to play for the team in college for a single season in 1995.

      Hope this helps

  2. jay13

    I don’t know how I feel about Fitzgerald in Detroit. Never thought he would be considered. I like them looking at him more then Harbaugh.

  3. parx

    Fitzgerald isn’t leaving northwestern when he knows Nagy is one season from being fired at best and he can take the bears job and not have to move or change anything in his life except which way he head on 90/94

  4. jjd002

    If he doesn’t have anything to do with New England he won’t be in Houston.

  5. Tony B

    It would shock me if he went anywhere after declining to interview for the Packers job two years ago. He said he had no interest in any other job.

    And why should he? He knows that he can be “coach for life” at Northwestern (like Bowden and Beamer). He is paid well. And he has no NFL experience — where even great coaches get fired after a down year or two.

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